On September 24, the City Council approved legislation with several changes to the pedestrian access and circulation requirements in the Land Use code, that lists when sidewalks and ADA curbs and curb ramps are required to be constructed or rebuilt. The amendments are intended to increase accessibility on sidewalks and to make other modifications and corrections to the code. The ordinance will go into effect in late October; 30 days after the Mayor signs the ordinance.
The rainy season is rapidly approaching, which means it’s time to think about whether you will be doing any grading between November 1 and March 31. If your project includes Geotechnical Special Inspections AND if your project is in an environmentally critical area or involves a large quantity of earth-moving, check your special inspection permit record for an item called “Monitor Grading Season Restriction.”
SDCI will be presenting at the fourth session of the Got Codes? series hosted by AIA Seattle. This session will discuss land use, building, and energy code issues for residential projects. We’ll also specifically address current design issues for accessory dwelling units (ADUs), detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs), home business or office, substantial alterations, existing non-conforming conditions and site access, and environmentally critical areas.
Our new permitting system, the Seattle Services Portal, has streamlined the permitting process for large-scale projects. If your project needs multiple application types – such as a Master Use Permit application for design review, a construction permit application, and a demolition permit application – our new permitting system now only requires you to submit one pre-application.
In response to customer feedback, SDCI has set up a special customer service team to focus specifically on difficulties customers encounter applying for a permit through the Seattle Services Portal.
SDCI recently hosted several in-person and Skype trainings to help our customers get the most out of the Seattle Services Portal when submitting a permit application. We assisted over 200 customers in 6 separate sessions. Overall, customers found the trainings to be helpful and felt that they’d be able to submit permit applications more easily.
Based on information provided by WSDOT, on January 11, 2019, State Route 99 through downtown Seattle will be closing for approximately three weeks to realign SR 99 into the new tunnel. During the closure, both the viaduct and the tunnel will be closed. Drivers should expect up to six weeks of region-wide congestion.
SDCI allows applicants to schedule intake appointments before they receive a Preliminary Assessment Report (PAR) for projects that require one. However, please remember that you must submit an up-to-date PAR with your application materials at intake. If you do not, we will reject your application, adding additional time to your permit process.
On July 1, updates to Design Review went into effect that changed the residential thresholds from being based on number of units to total gross floor area on a site. While we work on updating our electronic submittal process and the information we collect from you, we need your help to make sure we have the most accurate information about your proposed project. For all projects, please include the total gross floor area – including floor area below grade – on the site plan, along with the unit count for residential projects, so we can identify whether Design Review is required for your project during our interdepartmental preliminary assessment of your project. The requirements we identify in your report are based on the information you provide, so the more you give us will help us respond with the best information.
The Seattle Basin is a 6 to 7 km deep basin, formed by geologic processes and earthquake faults, filled with soil and soft rock. These sediments within the basin amplify earthquake motions, as we saw from earthquake ground motion recordings and damage patterns during the Nisqually earthquake. These amplified motions primarily affect taller buildings.